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Petzl Tikka Review

A good light but outperformed by the Petzl Tikkina, which costs less, unless you need red LED light
Petzl Tikka
Photo: Abriah Wofford
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Price:  $30 List | $29.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Reasonably priced, very easy to use, good battery life, red LED, durable design
Cons:  Below average trail lighting in spot mode, average flood lighting
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By RJ Spurrier ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2018
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 27
  • Trail Finding - 35% 5
  • Close Proximity - 20% 4
  • Battery Life - 15% 7
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Petzl Tikka has a lot of what we feel is most important in a light: a quality design that will last for years, super-easy to use, and lighting power that will meet most people's practical needs. At $30 list, and often available for less online, the Tikka is reasonably priced too. The main problem we have with the Tikka, is not the Tikka itself, but it's little brother, the Petzl Tikkina, which performs better overall for 33% lower price. Unless we needed the red LED light offered in the Tikka, which can help as a great nightlight in the tent for younger kids or for astronomy fans who want to preserve their night sky vision, the Tikka just doesn't justify $10 higher price over the Tikkina, which offers nearly identical performance, and is even easier to use, for less money. And, if even if we did need the red LED, and if weight and packed size were concerns, then the Petzl Zipka selling for the same price, but taking up less room in your pack and weighing 24% less, is a better choice. As a result, the Tikka is a bit wedged in between two lights from the same company, that offer compelling offerings.

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Price $29.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Reasonably priced, very easy to use, good battery life, red LED, durable designExcellent spot light capability, wide evenly lit flood beam, above average in most waysGood performance for the price, 94 meter beam throw, easy to useSuper easy to use, inexpensive, solid performance, compact, and reliableLightweight, small size, excellent flood beam, great price
Cons Below average trail lighting in spot mode, average flood lightingBelow average battery life, claimed battery life is wildly misleading, single button hard to use, lame waterproofingAverage in most waysGood but not great spot beam for trail finding, slightly below average flood beam opticsToo weak a beam for trail finding or distance viewing
Bottom Line A good light but outperformed by the Petzl Tikkina, which costs less, unless you need red LED lightA quality, durable, and bright light that hits the sweet spot for most people's needs, despite dubious marketing claimsThe Yalumi is a good light, at a good price, that provides basic functionalityFor $20, the Tikkina offers impressive performance at a great price, that will meet most people's needsOffers great close proximity lighting at a budget price
Rating Categories Petzl Tikka Black Diamond Spot Yalumi LED 140-Lumen Petzl Tikkina Black Diamond Astro
Trail Finding (35%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
Close Proximity (20%)
4.0
9.0
5.0
4.0
7.0
Battery Life (15%)
7.0
4.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
Specs Petzl Tikka Black Diamond Spot Yalumi LED 140-Lumen Petzl Tikkina Black Diamond Astro
Measured Beam Distance 62 m 94 m 94 m 62 m 38 m
Claimed Distance 60 m 80 m 90 m 55 m 35 m
Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI) 3.9 hrs 2.9 hrs 4.3 hrs 3.5 hrs 4.8 hrs
Claimed High Mode Run-time 60 hrs 30 hrs Not specified 60 hrs 20 hrs
Measured Low Mode Run-time 225 hrs 9.7 hrs 47 hrs 223 hrs 95 hrs
Claimed Low Mode Run-time 240 hrs 175 hrs 100 hrs 220 hrs 80 hrs
Measured Weight 3 oz, 84 g 3.1 oz, 89 g 2.7 oz, 77 g 2.9 oz, 83 g 3 oz, 86 g
Battery Type 3 AAA 3 AAA 3 AAA 3 AAA 3 AAA
Water Resistance IPX4 splash proof Splash proof (dubious IPX8 claim) IPX4 splash proof IPX4 splash proof IPX4 splash proof
Manuf Claimed Lumens 200 lumens 300 lumens 140 lumens 150 lumens 150 lumens
Beam Type flood/spot flood/spot flood/spot flood flood, dimmable
Red Light yes yes yes no no
On Switch Lock no yes no no yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

There is so much to love about the Petzl Tikka that we find it regrettable to confess we feel most people should buy one of the sister products, either the Petzl Tikkina that offers similar performance for 33% lower price (but without the red LED), or Petzl Zipka which sells for the same price and offers the exact same lighting features & performance, for 24% lower weight and smaller packed size.

Performance Comparison


Photo: Abriah Wofford

Trail Finding


The trail finding score was OK in general but pretty poor compared to top-performing lights that also list for $30, such as the Black Diamond Spot.

As you can see in the beam comparison images below The Spot is considerably brighter than the Tikka.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Petzl Tikka
Beam photo of Black Diamond Spot

Petzl Tikka
Black Diamond Spot

Close Proximity


The Tikka is below average in its flood mode lighting, with a score 4 of 10. While it is perfectly functional, it lacks the wide even lighting of the BD Spot.


Photo: Abriah Wofford

Battery Life


You are likely to rely on a light like the Tikka primarily for close-proximity flood lighting, and it offers impressive battery life for that application.


Photo: Abriah Wofford

Weight


By design, the Tikka is one of the lighter headlamps, although certainly not the lightest.


Ease of Use


The Tikka is quite easy to use and has the same intuitive one button activation as the rest of the Tikka line. However, the string headband makes it hard to use when wearing gloves. The Tikka does attach well to helmets.


Photo: Abriah Wofford

Best Applications


The Tikka is well suited for an application like a 3-5 day backpacking trip, where weight and size matter, but so much as to mandate the most ultralight solutions like the Petzl e+LITE. For a weekend backcountry trip, the Petzl Tikkina or BD Spot are a better choice though, since they offer much superior performance as a general-purpose light.

Photo: Abriah Wofford

Value


In the current headlamp market, $30 is a price that needs to deliver a lot of performance. The Tikka is kind of a special-purpose solution, in that it is not the light we'd choose for general-purpose use, which means buying it involves a compromise on performance in the long run. The beam power and other lighting metrics are just not that impressive for the price of this light.

Photo: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


We consider the Tikka to be a quality light, but not our pick. The Petzl Tikkina is a strong competitor at a lower price, and the Black Diamond Spot offers better performance for the same price.

RJ Spurrier